A dairy-free version of the classic creamy spinach side dish. No dairy, easy to make, and so delicious!
- 20 oz raw baby spinach
- 1-2 tbsp avocado oil (or a combination of oil and vegan butter)
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced (makes 1 cup)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups cashew milk
- 1 tsp tamari (optional)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- 1 tsp tapioca starch
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Start by blanching the spinach. There’s a lot of it so I do this in two batches. For this you need a large pot with boiling water and a large bowl with ice water.
- Add the raw spinach into the boiling water, push it down and stir with a spoon until it wilts down and becomes dark green (this only takes 5-10 seconds).
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach from the boiling water into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the cool blanched spinach to another bowl and set aside. Repeat with the remaining raw spinach. Squeeze out as much of the excess water from the spinach as you can and set aside.
- Heat up a large pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the avocado oil, finely diced onion, and sea salt. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds just until fragrant.
- Pour in the cashew milk, add tamari if using, nutritional yeast, and red pepper flakes.
- Lower heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens slightly. Stir often.
- In a small bowl, mix together the tapioca starch with 1 tsp of water.
- Take the sauce off the heat and pour in the tapioca mixture while stirring constantly. If the pan is too hot and you let it sit, it might seize up and create lumps. You can use a whisk to prevent this.
- Place back on medium heat and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens up slightly.
- Add the spinach, black pepper to taste, and mix well.
- Serve hot with more nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes if desired.
- Frozen spinach: Use the same amount (20oz) but let the spinach defrost completely and squeeze out excess liquid before adding it to the sauce.
- Sauce consistency: If the sauce becomes too thick or reduces too much, simply add more cashew milk. If it’s too thin, add ¼-½ tsp of tapioca mixed with equal part water. Do this only before you add the spinach. I don’t recommend adding any more tapioca after you add the spinach because you won’t be able to mix it in properly and it would create lumps.
- Storing: Once the spinach cools down completely, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Keywords: vegan, creamed spinach